Your little one's big accomplishment last week was the "zipping up" of the neural tube. This week, the budding genius is working on building brainpower.
Your little one's big accomplishment last week was
the "zipping up" of the neural tube. This week, the budding genius is
working on building brainpower. Although brain development will
continue long after birth, the basic sections are laid down now. As the
week progresses, the organ will divide into three parts: forebrain,
midbrain, and hindbrain. The forebrain will be responsible for things
such as reasoning, problem solving, and forming and retaining memories.
The midbrain will function as a traffic cop, relaying electrical
signals to their final destinations in the brain. And the hindbrain
will take care of breathing, heart rate, and muscle movement.
The action isn't all upstairs, however. Limbs are also growing fast.
Arm and leg buds have sprouted, though at this point they look more
Your little one is 4 to 8 millimetres long this week,
a little larger than the width of your little finger nail.
Do you find yourself constantly running to the
bathroom? Your raging hormones and increased blood volume cause your
body to produce more fluid, which then has to be eliminated. Don't cut
back on your water intake, though; on the contrary, you should make an
effort to drink more water than before you were pregnant.
When you see your doctor or midwife for your first
prenatal visit, he or she may caution you about the risks of
contracting toxoplasmosis, an infection that's passed through raw or
undercooked meat and cat faeces. The infection is harmful to your
foetus but not to you (unless you have a weakened immune system). You
may have already had toxoplasmosis without knowing it-if this is the
case, you are immune. Even if you haven't, your chances of contracting
the disease now are very low, as long as you take the proper
precautions. To avoid coming in contact with the germ, order your
burgers and steaks well done, and wash your hands thoroughly after
preparing meat. Be sure to wear gloves when gardening so you don't
accidentally touch any cat faeces. Take yourself off kitty litter duty
for the rest of your pregnancy.
From the experts.
Are you wondering if your job will affect your
health? "Most types of employment are not dangerous for pregnant
women," says Dr. Margaret Comerford Freda. "There are exceptions,
however, including jobs in which you inhale the fumes of cleaning
solvents or do heavy lifting." If this is the case, you don't need to
quit, but you should take some precautions.